Salem Lakes moving toward new floodplain ordinance

Salem Lakes is working toward the development of a new floodplain ordinance.

Having an ordinance that is approved by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is crucial to village residents being eligible for the National Flood Insurance program, virtually the only way to acquire flood insurance.

The village hosted a public hearing Monday on the topic to collect comment. Village Board and Plan Commission members were present.

When the former town of Salem merged with the village of Silver Lake in 2017, FEMA viewed the new village as a new participant in the flood insurance program, though both of the former entities were participants.

FEMA said a portion of the new village’s ordinance does not meet current modelling standards and needs to be redone, said Patrick Casey, village administrator. That out-of-date portion related to a 1992 study used to determine the Camp/Center Lake floodplain.

Casey recommends doing a new study to rectify the problem.

“We’re stuck really,” Casey said. “We can’t move forward without a new study. FEMA is dictating what we do here.”

The village is pursuing quotes for the new study from the village engineer and the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. Cost is estimated at $30,000-35,000, Casey said.

The lack of an accepted flood ordinance could prevent people seeking flood insurance from receiving it until the new ordinance is passed. The ordinance will define where there is a flood plain and therefore what properties are eligible. Property has to be in a designated flood area to be eligible for federal flood insurance.

More widespread than typical flooding last summer hit homes along the Fox River – which recorded a all-time high crest in July 2017 as measured at the New Munster gauge — and in other areas of Salem Lakes.


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